Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Todd Spiewak (left) and Jim Parsons.
On October 18, 2013, numerous celebrities attended the Ninth Annual GLSEN Respect Awards at Los Angeles' Beverly Hills Hotel. The event honored those who work to make the country's schools safer by educating students and teachers about the effects of bullying. Actor Jim Parsons and his partner Todd Spiewak were presented the organization's Inspiration Award, while acclaimed producer and screenwriter Linda Bloodworth Thompson received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The star-studded event featured entertainment by Steve Grand, whose "All American Boy" music video created a sensation earlier this year.
Some of the celebrities attending the awards spoke with Entertainment Weekly about having been bullied themselves.
Dan Bucatinsky, for example, remembered being bullied by a next door neighbor when he was growing up. The actor, who recently won an Emmy for his portrayal of a gay father on Scandal, said he could not imagine not supporting an organization like GLSEN.
"GLSEN has such a simple mission statement, which is simply that no kid should be afraid to go to school," he explained. "I love the fact that this is an organization that is focused on teaching educators and kids about respect."
Mayim Bialik, who costars with Parsons on The Big Bang Theory, said that she was bullied as child, which is why she is hypersensitive about the subject, especially now that she is a mother.
Bialik presented the Inspiration Award to Parsons, who recently won his third consecutive Emmy as Best Actor in a Comedy for his work on The Big Bang Theory, and his partner of ten years Todd Spiewak, a designer and art director. Parsons earned plaudits for his stage performance in a revival of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, and will appear in an HBO production of the play that is currently in production.
In the video below, professional athletes Robby Rogers and Jason Collins open the awards ceremony.
Steve Grand performs "All American Boy" at the Respect Awards.
Actress Mayim Bialik and GLSEN student ambassador Carly Friders present the Inspiration Award to Parsons and Spiewak.
Parsons and Spiewak accept the Inspiration Award.